Podea (Greek: ποδέα) (plural: podeai) is a kind of apron, that clearly designates a cloth hung at the foot of an icon in Orthodox Church, which often accompanies it in religious processions. This hanging often is embroidered with religious scenes or figures of the saints and liturgical writing. The image on a podea might either double or complement the subject of the icon: an epigram by Nicholas Kallikles describes a podea for the icon of the Theotokos at the Hodegon Monastery as “an image of the image”. It is also known as poderes skenos, kraspedon, pterygiori and emprostalion.
Embroidered podeai evolved into an essential supplement to the iconic image. It serves to create a sophisticated interaction with the icon, creating another level of perception of the icon; as such, it can serve to enrich, and/or develop on, the theme of the icon itself.
- Hiera Monē Batopediu (1998). The holy and great monastery of Vatopaidi: tradition, history, art, Volume 2. Mount Athos : Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopaidi. p. 451. OCLC 313525556.
The podea is a liturgical ornament hung immediately below an icon, a kind of 'apron'. In texts it is also referred as a 'poderes skenos, 'kraspedon, or 'pterygiori and 'emprostalion of the holy icons'.
- Frolov A. La «Podea»: un tissu décoratif de l’Eglise byzantine // Byzantion, 1938. T. 13. Fasc. 2. P. 461—504.
- Woodfin W. T. Clothing the Icon: The Podea and Analogous Liturgical Textiles
- Petrov A. Podea: the Embroidery Image under the Icon and Its Function in Byzantine and Medieval Russian Churches // Proceedings of the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies. London, 21–26 August 2006. Vol. III. London, 2006. P. 311-312.